FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 26, 2016
Homestead Housing Authority Launched by Homestead Associations Statewide
Honolulu, HI – The oldest and largest coalition of Hawaiian Homestead Associations in Hawaii, the SCHHA, has launched a nonprofit housing authority to help address affordable housing and homelessness. The Homestead Housing Authority (HHA) will combine the talent across the state to develop affordable housing, affordable rentals and special needs housing on Hawaiian Home Lands as provided under section 207 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921.
“This is the logical next step,” said Mike Hodson, Chairman of the HHA Board of Commissioners. “As beneficiaries of our trust lands, we have a kuleana to be a nonprofit developer of affordable housing for our people on the waitlist and living on the sidewalks and beaches. We also have a kuleana to provide affordable worker rental housing in our respective regions.”
The launching of a statewide Homestead Housing Authority stands on the many successes of individual homestead associations that have successfully built nearly 100 affordable housing units in the last 5 years. Homestead associations have also successfully implemented dozens of economic development projects that create jobs, a powerful component to the success of any affordable housing mission.
“The 5-member Board of Commissioners that governs the housing authority were initially appointed from each of the major SCHHA Mokupuni regions on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Hawaii Island,” said Robin Puanani Danner, SCHHA chairman. “Mike Hodson is from Hawaii Island, Iwalani McBrayer is from Oahu, Kamaka Purdy is from Molokai, Liberta Albao is from Kauai, and Kaulana Mossman is from Maui. Each of these homestead leaders will bring important mana‘o to our affordable housing mission.”
The Board of Commissioners of the Homestead Housing Authority unifies 5 island regions of the SCHHA to construct single-family and duplex homes for native Hawaiians on the waitlist, and multi-family rental units for workers, for homeless, and families in need.
“We have the know-how, we have the right under the federal HHCA law and frankly, we know our trust lands better than anyone,” Hodson remarked. “The waitlist and the lack of affordable housing is at crisis levels in Hawaii. We want to help bring solutions to our people and to our state.”
The SCHHA was founded in 1987, uniting beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Land trust created by Congress in 1921. More than 30 homestead associations with democratically elected leaders are members of the SCHHA, working to advance the well-being of trust land communities. The SCHHA is the oldest and largest Hawaiian homestead coalition. For more information, email email@example.com.